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Ditch the Dinnertime Scramble!

Simplify your evening routine...less stress, less overwhelm and less worry!

March is National Nutrition Month, so let’s talk about food! More specifically how to make dinnertime easier in the midst of the evening chaos.


After a long workday, mentally exhausted, you dread the question, “What’s for dinner?” And with a busy night ahead of you, uber’ing your kids to and from sports fields, courts or rinks, you barely find time to sit down and eat dinner let alone time to prepare it!

I get it, dinner time is no joke! I wish a genie would pop out of my kitchen cabinets each night and magically get dinner on the table for me and my busy family. I was so tired of feeling overwhelmed and frazzled, and filling up on snacks instead of a proper meal, so I fixed it!

I developed a simple method, with health and your family’s needs and varied preferences in mind.

You can follow it with relative ease to ditch the dinnertime drama, save time and energy, add more variety, eat healthier, AND save money. I can’t wait for you to try it!

Hop on over here for my free guide and check out my e-course (with bonus meals guide) where I walk your through the method step-by- step.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek…ten ways to ditch the dinnertime scramble today!

#1: Ditch the Self-Judgement

When it comes to dinnertime, we have pre-conceived notions of what we should do, based on how we were raised, past and present societal ideals, what the mom next door is doing, etc…


Let’s drop the self-judgement and broaden our mindset. You can incorporate ANY options that work for you and your family, including my standby “breakfast for dinner” or take out! I’ll also help you make a plan that includes super simple home-cooked meals if you want to cut costs, add variety and/or up-level your health.


#2: Make a plan ahead of time

Here’s the truth: if we wait to make decisions in the moment (exhausted, at the end of a long workday, with a night full of sports practices ahead of us), our brain is programmed to press the ‘easy’ button: defaulting to take-out, PB&J or cereal (if you’re anything like me). There’s nothing wrong with that, I just don’t want to eat that way every night.

Trust me on this...Making a plan ahead of time drastically reduces stress, overwhelm, and the mental exhaustion from decision fatigue. Plus, you’ll be more likely to follow through on your plan.

Plan a day ahead, a couple days ahead or a full week ahead, whatever works for you. Bottom line: you get to choose a plan that’s perfect for YOU and your family (not your next-door neighbors).

#3: Consider ALL of your options

Consider a combination of meal options aligned with your weekly schedule. There are lots…

Dine out, take out, store bought “food court” meals, store-bought freezer-ready meals, home-cooked “go-to” meals that you can prepare in your sleep with minimal effort, home-cooked “recipe meals” that are more “hands on”, meal service providing pre-made meals, and meal service providing the recipe and ingredients.

The options you choose may vary from week to week, season to season. For example, my menu during the winter hoops season is different from spring baseball season (those games are loooonngg).


#4: Stop overcomplicating it

You don’t need a 21-day menu rotation, fancy meals or more recipes (you already have hundreds saved to your phone, amiright?).  

Instead, rely on simple ‘go-to’ meals. The ones that you know off the top of your head that you can prepare in your sleep. For more ‘go-to’ meal ideas, there’s a sample meal plan below and I’m sharing my ‘go-to’ meals recipe book as a bonus when you register for my “Ditch the Dinnertime Scramble” e-course linked here). You can up the convenience factor by bulk prepping the protein ahead of time- more on that later.

Sample 7-day meal plan

Monday: Choose your own adventure Mexican (ground turkey nachos, burritos, quesadillas or taco salad), fix-ins (lettuce, store-bought guacamole, tomatoes, olives); P.S. I love mixing my Mexican seasoned ground turkey with cauliflower rice.

Tuesday: Meatball subs (ground turkey/chicken) and roasted broccoli.

Wednesday: Stuffed peppers with rice.

Thursday: Pasta, chicken sausages, and salad.

Friday: Rotisserie chicken {store bought}, mashed potatoes {store bought}, salad {make at home} & carrots/ranch {for my 10-year-old that doesn’t eat salad} OR Leftovers (meatloaf sandwiches or choose your own adventure Mexican.

Saturday: Eat out or dine out.

Sunday: Pulled pork (crockpot), roasted carrots and cornbread (boxed mix or store bought).

#5: Make your shopping list ahead of time and plan when you’ll shop

How many times have you made a plan for dinner, but then realize you don’t have what you need to make it? You tell yourself you’ll stop at the grocery store on the way home from work, but you’re exhausted and sandwiches, cereal or take-out seems soooo much easier. I know I’m not alone! 

This step is the difference between having a plan and turning that plan into dinner on the table.

Make a list of what you need to buy for each meal and schedule time on your calendar to shop (at the grocery store or via an online order pickup/delivery system).

Bonus: you don’t need to recreate your shopping list each week if you use your phone’s notes app (or Google docs). Share the “master” shopping list (with staple items and “extras” depending your meal plan) with the fam and add an asterisk next to the items that you need each week.

To see an example of my shopping list, grab my free “Ditch the Dinnertime Scramble” workbook here.

#6: Get creative with prepping food ahead of time

Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to do when you finish a long day of work (with a full night of sports on the docket) is cook dinner. That’s why you’re reading this in the first place!

There are lots of ways to save time and turn your plan into dinner on the table {or in your hands, if you’re eating on the fly}. Here are some options to consider:

  • Make extra one night to have re-imagined leftovers another night (e.g., tacos on Tuesday and quesadillas on Thursday). 

  • Set aside time on the weekend {1-2 hours max} to cook, e.g., prepping your proteins ahead of time, like sautéing a big batch of ground turkey, goes a long way.

  • Fill your slow-cooker in the morning and come home to a hot meal at night {set it and forget it}.

  • Prep ingredients for the pressure cooker in the morning, so you can simply press “start” after work.

  • Add items to a baking dish or a sheet pan in the morning, pop it in the ‘fridge and throw it in the oven later in the day {my teenager helps with the latter, since he’s sometimes home before I am}.  

Grab my free guide to see how I pre-prep my sample 7-day meal plan shown in #4. Better yet, I’ll walk you through exactly how to make a plan and turn it into dinner on the table in my companion course (with bonus meals guide).

#7: Anticipate obstacles and strategies to overcome them

Brainstorm what might get in the way of meal planning and meal prep. Life happens and it’s helpful to have a back‐up plan!

  • Keep a stash of cooked meatballs and turkey burgers in the freezer, mix it with a bag of frozen veggies, minute rice and seasonings for a quick dinner.

  • Keep a stash of single serving, cooked Mexican-seasoned ground turkey. I store in Ziplock baggies (stack flat), peel back before microwaving on a paper plate and eat in a corn or flour tortilla, over tortilla chips or taco salad style.   

  • Grab a rotisserie chicken and fix-ins from the food court.

  • Keep frozen chicken patties in the freezer (I use the air fried variety from the freezer section of the grocery store). “Parm” them with tomato sauce and cheese and serve with veggies or in a roll.

  • Keep mini chicken pot pies in your freezer. They cook quicker than the full-size version if time is an issue.


These are just examples. Whatever back-up plan you choose, decide ahead of time so that you’re ready when something comes up.

#8: Let go of perfect

As you put your plan into action, let go of perfect {whatever that means}! You don’t have to follow your plan perfectly. Chances are, you and your family just want to eat when you’re hungry, so don’t overcomplicate it and adjust as needed.

If one day doesn’t go as planned, simply pick up where you left off and try again tomorrow. Don’t judge yourself, don’t beat yourself up, give yourself grace and keep practicing. It gets easier over time.

#9: Get your family involved

Here are some ways to get other members of your household involved:

  • Hand over the reins to your spouse a set night (or nights) each week. Let go of what you think he or she should be doing and just enjoy the fact that you’re not doing it!

  • Write down a bunch of ‘go-to’ meals on separate notecards and ask family members to choose from the options. Less decisions for you and getting buy-in from the peanut gallery can go a long way.

  • Pick a favorite ‘recipe meal’ to prep together when you have a “free” night (for my family it’s usually a random Saturday or Sunday, depending on the sports season). 

  • Pick up a food magazine in the check-out line and let your kids pick out some options for a future night.

  • Ask your teenager to pre-heat the oven and pop in that pre-prepped sheet pan meal, so dinner will be ready when you get home. Saves you time and gives them some autonomy and life skills.

#10: Shift your mindset

Those old standby thoughts aren’t helping, so change your talk-track!

“This is too hard” --> “This will get easier with practice”

“I don’t have time” (my default thought) -->“I save so much time and energy when I plan and prep meals ahead of time”

“I can’t cook” (yes you can!) --> “I’m learning to keep it simple” or

“I hate to cook” (you don’t have to!) 

“I’m not motivated to cook” --> “I don’t need to feel motivated to follow through on my plan”

“I need more recipes” --> “I have plenty of easy options to include in my plan”

“I get bored easily” --> “I can eat it even if it’s boring” or “I can add variety and still keep it simple”

Wrapping up...

Cheers to no more wondering what’s for dinner, filling up on snacks because dinner isn’t ready, cereal on repeat, or shelling out extra cash for takeout multiple nights a week! It’s time to ditch the dinnertime drama and save time and energy. 

Head over here to get my free “Ditch the Dinnertime Scramble” workbook and check out my companion course where I walk your through the method step-by-step {and share my bonus “go-to meals” guide}. Click here for a free preview.  

Cheers to no more wondering what’s for dinner, filling up on snacks because dinner isn’t ready, or shelling out extra cash for takeout multiple nights a week! It’s time to ditch the dinnertime drama and save time and energy in the process.

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